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Outdoor Garbage Can Storage

This post for an Outdoor Garbage Can Storage Area contains affiliate links. I make a small portion when these links are used, at no additional cost to you.

We created a simple Garbage Can Storage Area in our side yard, because trash cans aren't pretty. It's been such a welcome addition...even our neighbors are commenting on how nice it looks. It's a simple, but a very effective idea to keep our unsightly garbage can hidden from the street.

outdoor garbage can storage

Our city-issued eye-sore of a dumpster is now hidden. Amen and hallelujah. I so wish I could have a cutesy painted metal garbage can on my curb, but we get to use these beauties above. They are more practical and functional with their fancy wheels and super truck that picks them up. But...the pretty factor just isn't there.

And I'm proud to say, this mini deck we built for our garbage can went together in one morning's time (this does not include the drying time for the stain and weather sealer we applied). Overall, this project is very simple, straight-forward construction. See how to put together your own hideaway for your trash bins below.

Outdoor Garbage Can Storage

We tried several solutions to store our big, green, heavy duty plastic bin...but all fell short. Keeping it in the garage meant the space could smell icky overnight. Having it in the storage shed meant dragging it across the lawn on trash day. And leaving it in the driveway caused it to get a mysterious dent when a car was backed into it. So, when we engineered this little shelf of sorts, we knew we had a winner. See the assembly instructions below to create a unique space for your own outdoor trash cans.

Garbage Can Storage Supplies
We were able to keep the cost of this project really low. My dad recently built a deck at their home and let me use some of the scraps to create this piece. And by "let me use", I mean, he hauled everything over to my house, and helped me assemble the entire piece. Have I mentioned how much I adore that man? 

This project will work for any outdoor trash cans, you will just need to take your own dimensions into consideration. Semi-enclosures like this trash can storage system are easy to customize and make your own. Grow plants around their exteriors to make them even more front-yard friendly. 

Directions for Outdoor Garbage Can Storage

Supplies:

  • We used three 2x4s, cut to the length we needed for the area we were creating this piece for.
    • (you'll have to decide what's best for your space on this one, size wise...and if your piece is a lot longer/larger than ours, you may want to consider more than three 2x4s to distribute the weight evenly). 
    • This is the time to plan for plenty of room for your garbage bins. I'd honestly want a space that is larger than needed, since you can't go back after it's created. Smaller would be a lot more difficult to live with.
    • You may also want to consider a bit of extra space for storing your recycling bin, too. 
  • For the main surface area, we used seven 1x6 treated decking boards, cut to our length that we needed (again, the amount of these you use will depend on how large yours is). These boards are great for creating the perfect heavy-duty floor.
  • We also used 2x4s for the lattice framing and plastic lattice for the interior of the frame (I was a bit leery of the plastic lattice for fear it could cheapen the piece, but I really like how it turned out...you can't even tell and it is much sturdier than the wooden variety). 
    • Make sure you use something that allows for air flow...this is important to keep your structure safe in case of a high wind or storm.
  • For the main base, everything is held together with coated deck screws for durability. Be sure to buy both the coated screws and treated lumber so the elements won't affect either over time (and cause rust!). Having weather resistant hardware is a big factor for this project.
  • To attach the lattice, we used galvanized lath screws.
  • You'll also need your favorite stain and/or weather sealer.

Pre-Drill Your Holes

Building Your Outdoor Garbage Can Storage Area:

  • We laid our three 2x4s out and started with our first board. Each 1x6 was attached to all three 2x4s with three screws (so, nine screws total per 1x6). 
  • I pre-drilled the holes on the end pieces to prevent them from splitting (see above photo).


Easy Tip

I have to say, a great system to put these together is straight from my dad (the 82-year-old, lifelong DIY-er):
  • Use both a driver and a drill simultaneously, so you're not having to switch bits all the time. Or, two drills would work, as well. It's a game changer and mega time saver. Borrow the second drill from a friend, if you need to. 
  • My dad brought over his driver for me to try out. Then he left it here and went and bought himself a new one (but, don't tell my mom, k?). I think this is how I acquired about half of my power tools. Love him.

Our Favorite Tools for the Job

My dad and I both swear by the Ryobi system of tools with the interchangeable battery system. Unrelated, but we recently bought their battery-powered chain saw and it's FANTASTIC!

Clamping 1x6 boards
  • Once we added the second 1x6, we used a clamp to make sure everything lined up correctly and the boards were level once screwed down.
  • We also used the clamp on every subsequent 1x6.

1x6 pallets
  • Keep on attaching all of the 1x6 boards to the frame, one right next to the other. This process went really fast and this thing was almost done before we knew it.

Attaching wall
  • We measured how high the garbage can was and then the width of the base piece to determine the size of the lattice piece we would need. 
  • We cut four 2x4 pieces and used the longer deck screws (also coated) to assemble the frame. 
  • Again, pre-drill your holes on the frame since the screws are in the ends of the wood pieces. You don't want them to split the wood (trust me, if you try to rush the process, you will split the wood and possibly have to start all over).

Lattice Wall Construction
  • Lay your frame on top of your lattice to see how you'll need to cut it. 
  • We simply marked the lattice with a permanent marker. 
  • We used a plastic-cutting blade and trimmed the excess with a jigsaw. We tried to use tin-snips, but they didn't work quite as well. The jigsaw gave us a much cleaner edge. We actually left it a bit longer on the bottom edge to allow it to cover the base as well. This was just a preference. 


Attaching lattice
  • We used the galvanized lath screws to attach the lattice to the 2x4 frame. These prevented the screw head from sinking too far into the lattice.

Deck Screws
  • I switched back to the longer deck screws to attach the frame with the lattice into the base of the garbage can storage area. I did them every couple of inches. 
  • Originally, we planned to add a large L-Bracket to that corner you see above (and its partner), for stability. But the piece was actually super stable without it. We've even had two major storms with crazy high winds since this was assembled and it's held up beautifully. B-E-A-utifully.
  • Do note, though: if you live somewhere with higher winds and such, adding a large L-bracket to the corners would be a great idea.


Staining Wood

Garbage Can Hider

Leveling Out

  • If your cute lil' garbage can storage area doesn't sit quite right, or isn't on perfectly level ground, add some wood scraps under the base pieces until it does. 
  • We used a couple of wood pieces under the back two corners to make ours sit level. 
  • It's a super mathematical leveling process: stand on it and wiggle around. Add wood pieces and repeat wiggling until it won't wiggle anymore. Super technical.


Jasmine Planter

Other Things We Did

  • As I mentioned above, we made a notched area where our sprinkler system piping comes out of the house (you can see that little PVC pipe poking through in the above image). This little pipe was a part of the reason we didn't do patio pavers as we originally planned. But, honestly, I'm happy we didn't. I'm really happy with how this turned out. 
  • I also planted some jasmine to grow up the lattice. I went back and forth on where to plant it. I settled on a simple planter on the inside. Our mowers, God love 'em, are kind as all get out, but not always careful with the edger. Not sure a vine would have lasted on the exterior side of the lattice. 
  • Not sure if it's because this surface has raised our trash can off the ground, but we haven't had a single issue with raccoons or pests with this new system in place.


Home Garbage Center
Here's a view from the front. I'm happy with how the stain on the lattice blends nicely with the brick of the house. It's just a more tidy appearance overall and better solution than all of our other ideas for keeping the trash can out of plain sight. 

More Outdoor Garbage Can Storage Tutorials from My Friends:

  • Reality Daydream combined a Potting Bench and Garbage Can Storage Area. It's fantastic.
  • Are you more of a paint enthusiast? You've got to check out this fun and funky tutorial on Trash Can Graffiti and Stenciling from A Colorful Journey. While your trash can certainly won't be hidden, it will probably be the talk of the town with its fun new look! She even included a helpful video of the process she uses.
  • And I love this Garbage Can Storage and Recycling Center from Sunset. It's a great storage unit for these important things that are often hard to hide away.
  • The Christina Marie Blog also shares a simple way to Hide Your Garbage Cans. The nice part of this one is it goes together quick and doesn't require a lot of DIY skills and such.
  • If you prefer just a fence for your trash can, without the bottom platform, be sure to check out this tutorial on a Creating a Privacy Fence for your Garbage Can from House Homemade.
  • And this project, while a bit more involved, is another great solution: DIY Trashcan Shed from Bob Villa (it's more of a horizontal shed take on a trash can storage system). I really like the cute front doors (on hinges!) they built on this one. It would be a great place to store a few small garden tools, as well.

More Outdoor Projects

  • If you like this project, chances are, you'll love the DIY Planted Posts my dad and I also constructed. They're a hit on the interwebs, y'all.
  • As you work your way around your home's exterior, be sure to check out my project on Painting a Porch Floor (so it never peels!). It was a night and day difference for us with this project.
  • Make a chain link fence look like a million bucks with this sweet little Tin Can Fence Garden that we put together. It's one of my favorites!
  • I also have this great DIY Planter Box on Wheels tutorial. It was another project engineered by my dad (these are always my favorite projects to look back on. He passed away in 2020). This planter box has allowed me to wheel this large planter all over the patio, depending on the weather. 
  • Or, check out my complete tutorial for How to Build Window Boxes here...it's another great outdoor project. You can see its video below:



Outdoor Garbage Can Storage

UPDATE: 1/25/20: We moved from this home two years ago. However, I still drive by it from time to time and am happy to report that the new owners still use this same garbage can storage area that we built. It's going strong over five years later!

UPDATE: 3/21/22: We drove by our old home (the one pictured in this post) yesterday. This garbage can holder is still in place and still storing the trash can...seven years later! So, it's definitely a project that withstands the test of time. We've built a similar system for our new home, too, since we liked this one so much. Our new system has room for both my garbage cans and bags of leaves that I use for my compost bins, which are right next to my garbage area.








7 comments:

  1. Love, love, love it!! I need to show my husband because ours just sits in a spot that gets muddy when it rains. And just say no to lipgloss during wood projects! I tried to be cute once while cutting wood and every.little.piece. stuck to my lips and I couldn't get them off. ;)

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  2. Love this! And you look absolutely beautiful in your photo no need for lip gloss! :)

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  3. Love this! And you look absolutely beautiful in your photo no need for lip gloss! :)

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  4. My neighbors have attempted to hide their garbage cans, but this one is just darn right pretty. You have inspired me to make one for myself. :-)

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  5. I WISH we only had one of those trash totes...we have 3! Garbage, recycling & greenwaste. We aren't allowed to store them in front, so we drag them back to the side yard behind the fence every Wednesday. Did I mention the HUGE hole at the curb that we have to muscle them through? Yeah. The entire pathway is dirt, and washes out whenever it rains, or the HOA decides to finally turn on the median sprinklers. So yeah. I need about 1/4 ton of fill dirt, pavers, sand, and one truck crew of hot guys to knock that project out for me. I'm over it and haven't even started yet! LOL

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  6. This is such a great post. I love your wit and sense of humor! My dogs have been looking at me with concern because I keep cracking up. :-D By the way, I'll be putting this stealth disappearing trick to use ASAP, but I may add a front that swings open or perhaps drops down, creating a ramp for our two similarly hideous town-issued garbage & recycling cans. Our house is positioned in such a way that one side may not do the trick. I'll need to think about it for a bit to make sure I can actually access the lids without a big ordeal in order to throw out the garbage...yeah, that would be bad.

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  7. I am so incredibly sorry about the loss of your dear Dad!!!! What an honor for you to have had him cheering you on and helping you come up with ideas to post. Wonderful memories of a Dad and his daughter. What a wonderful feeling to know how proud he was of you! Sending you and your family many prayers for peace and comfort during this most difficult time!

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